All posts tagged David Gilliland

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all-star fan vote: make it gilliland or kvapil!

Travis Kvapil and David GillilandI apologize for not getting around to this, like, a lot sooner but better late than never right?

I think you should vote for either David Gilliland or Travis Kvapil in the NASCAR All-Star Race Fan Vote. They’re good guys, good drivers and it would be supercool to see ‘em in the All-Star Race.

It’s that simple. Just do it! :)

In other news…

– I get to ask Tony Stewart some questions next Friday in person at his autograph signing session at the Office Depot in Pineville, NC. My question for you is, what do you think I should ask him? I was thinking about asking him why he’s always dating blondes, but I don’t know that that’d go over well. So I’m open to ideas.

If you want to come out to the autograph session here are the details:

WHERE: Office Depot
9610 Pineville Matthews Road
Pineville, North Carolina 28134

WHEN: Friday, May 28, 2010 at 4 p.m. local time

NOTE: This event is open to the general public, and 700 wristbands will be distributed for autographs (one per person). The wristbands may be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis at the store beginning at 8 a.m. local time on the day of the event only. Fans with a wristband must be in line no later than 5 p.m. local time to receive an autograph.

:)

– Get your signature on Tony Stewart’s car for the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona in July. How do you do that? It’s easy, just go to BKSignandRace.com to add your signature to the Burger King logo that’ll grace Tony’s car. I did it and it’s superfun. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

And get this, once the race is over you’ll have the opportunity to win an authentic No. 14 BURGER KING® car hood, with the fan endorsed BK logo, through an online auction that’ll take place at BKSignandRace.com starting June 28 through July 7. All proceeds from the auction will go to the HAVE IT YOUR WAY® Foundation.

rain ruins everyone’s parade

Cars sit covered on pit road during a rain shower that postponed the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The race will be held Monday at noon ET. (Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Thanks to Mother Nature there was little to no racing today. Everything, and seriously, everything has been postponed to Monday.

The Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway has been moved to Monday where hopefully it’ll get started and run in it’s entirety. IndyCar had a race in the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida but that got rained out too and is supposed to take place tomorrow. And if that wasn’t enough, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway had to move too, to Monday, because of rain.

Rain is not the friend of motorsports that’s for sure.

I must apologize for my lameness in not updating this site for two weeks. Trust me, I really, really wanted to but I’ve had stuff to deal with. Everything is settled for now so I’m back and will be writing as usual from now on.

:)

Here are photos from the weekend, so far, at Martinsville:


David Gilliland cranks his engines before Friday's practice for the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Gilliland cranks his engines before Friday’s practice for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. (Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

you won’t like carl when he’s angry

Kurt Busch celebrates in Victory Lane after winning his third NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)So I know everybody is putting a lot of thought into Carl Edwards actions this weekend at Atlanta. Was he justified in bumping Brad “I Have No Friends” Keselowski into flight or should he have found him after the race and gently slapped him across the face with a white glove?

I’m in two minds about it, but I know for sure that it was fun to watch. I’m glad Brad was OK after the wreck (and we should never take the strides they’ve made in keeping the drivers safe for granted), but we know that Carl didn’t intend for him to flip around like that.

Now let’s talk about the other disaster in this race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets the pole and then proceeds to lead not a single lap in the ENTIRE race. How is this possible? Holy crap, I love you Dale. I really, really, really do, but what the heck?

Big shout out and congrats to David Gilliland for putting on a great show on Sunday! He led laps and ran up front a whole heck of a lot. Good things are coming for that No. 38 Charter Air Transport / Taco Bell team! It’s so nice when you support a driver and they do good things to remind you why you pull for them in the first place. Seriously, I cannot WAIT till David wins a Sprint Cup race. It’s going to be AH-MAY-ZING.

**Gillette 500 – Don’t forget to join Team Denny / Kasey!**


Fellow Toyota drivers Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers talk in the garage during Friday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fellow Toyota drivers Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers talk in the garage during Friday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

gilliland and kvapil: reunited and it’s so cool!

Travis Kvapil (left) and David Gilliland (right) (photo credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)Words cannot express how psyched I am to see that Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland will be teammates again! The two are joining Front Row Motorsports, running Fords, for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season. This is superawesome news and I’m glad these guys are going to be full-time Cup drivers, with full-on organizational support, again.

From the official press release:

As previously announced, Front Row will have two more full-time Sprint Cup programs in 2010. Travis Kvapil is behind the No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion and Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Kevin Conway is driving the No. 37 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Veteran crew chiefs Steven Lane and Peter Sospenzo have been named crew chiefs of each respective program. This is the first season Front Row Motorsports, based in Statesville, N.C., will field three full-time programs. The teams will be supported by Ford Racing and Roush/Yates Engines.

Gilliland comes to Front Row Motorsports having been a former teammate with Kvapil at Yates Racing under the Ford Racing banner.

“It’s going to be great to be back in a Ford with Roush/Yates Engines and teammates with Travis and Kevin,” said Gilliland. “Travis and I had a lot of good runs together in the past and I know that Front Row Motorsports has put a lot of efforts into their program during the off-season. I think we can surprise some people.”

I totally agree, they can kick some butt. I remember when I interviewed David he said that he and Travis get on well and that they like the same things in their cars. That’s gotta be helpful in building your teams and setups. Oh and FYI, Gilliland will be in the No. 38 again but with Taco Bell as a sponsor. Niiice.

In other news…

– On Monday night our 4-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson visited the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show and engaged in a little “Bumper Car” racing with Jimmy and actress Ashley Judd, who we all know is married to the adorable Scotsman and reigning IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti. I love Ashley, she’s so cool. I have to admit that I’m planning on seeing the Tooth Fairy because of her (maybe not in the theater, but still), although the fact that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in it too helps. He’s friggin’ gorgeous, and his arms! Omigosh his arms. Okay, I’m getting off track. Videos of Jimmie’s appearance are below.

Also, The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon blog has a poll up right now asking you to vote on who you think is the best motorsports driver of all time. If you guys let Speed Racer win, we’ve got serious problems!

shortcuts: david ragan surprises people

– It was announced yesterday that Jamie McMurray will take over the No. 1 car for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next year. I say congratulations to Mr. McMurray. I like knowing that people have jobs. This leads me to think about another driver that I think should have a ride next year and that would be David Gilliland. I think Joe Gibbs Racing should take on a 4th team and that team should be for David. It’d be awesome. :)

– NFL star Junior Seau has a new TV show called “Sports Jobs With Junior Seau.” Before Seau decided to come back to the NFL he filmed this original series for VERSUS about the people working behind the scenes of major sports leagues. In the December 23rd episode Seau tries his hand at being a pit crew member for IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon. Check your local listings.

Mike Rowe, host of the super grody show “Dirty Jobs,” will be the Grand Marshal of this weekend’s Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. I love Mike Rowe because he does muck around in all of the muck on his show, and he has an awesome voice. AND he used to host a local TV show here in the San Francisco Bay Area so he’s sentimental fave. I’m glad he’s doing really well.

– NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan surprised three Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders with free tickets to the 2010 Daytona 500 in February. There were pictures and I felt the need to post them.

:)


Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig, left, joined UPS driver Robert Clopton and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 UPS Ford David Ragan to present longtime season ticket holder Ben Allen and his wife with their tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 at their home Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig, left, joined UPS driver Robert Clopton and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 UPS Ford David Ragan to present longtime season ticket holder Ben Allen and his wife with their tickets for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 at their home Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Longtime season ticket holder Mike Bruno Jr., right, poses with his tickets to Feb. 14's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 and driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan on Tuesday as Ragan hand-delivered him tickets for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

Longtime season ticket holder Mike Bruno Jr., right, poses with his tickets to Feb. 14′s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 and driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan on Tuesday as Ragan hand-delivered him tickets for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

When he opened his front door, longtime Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders Jim Barron and his wife Char were in for a surprise -- NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan. Ragan, who stopped in Daytona Beach before heading down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this weekend's final races of the season, presented tickets to Barron for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

When he opened his front door, longtime Daytona International Speedway season ticket holders Jim Barron and his wife Char were in for a surprise — NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, David Ragan. Ragan, who stopped in Daytona Beach before heading down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for this weekend’s final races of the season, presented tickets to Barron for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 2010. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Daytona International Speedway)

texas: i’ll take drama any way i can get it

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, celebrates by firing two Beretta's into the air on Victory Lane after winning Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. This is Busch's 20th win in 326 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)Before the start of the Dickies 500 on Sunday I was thinking about what had to happen in order for Jimmie Johnson to lose some momentum in The Chase. Of course, I didn’t think any of it would happen. So when Jimmie’s accident occurred I was, uhm, sort of pleasantly surprised.

We needed that to make things a little more interesting. The guy still has a ton of points on Mark Martin but at least it gives hope a chance to shine. And, if I’m being honest, it was pretty cool getting to see the 48 team pull together and get that car back into shape to run in the race again. I’m never against seeing Ron Malec in action. (hehe) I have to give it Chad Knaus though, that guy is one cool customer. He was pissed of course that they ran into trouble, but his voice is always even. He doesn’t freak out, and you can’t afford to freak out in a situation like that, which is why Jimmie and the Lowe’s team are 3-time Sprint Cup Champions.

Watching Kurt Busch do his victory lap around Texas Motor Speedway in reverse with his tongue sticking out made me realize who he reminds me of, and no, it’s not Michael Jordan. No, I was thinking more along the lines of the character Pete Campbell from the awesome TV show Mad Men. Pete, played by Vincent Kartheiser, is kind of a punk. He whines when he doesn’t get his way and always thinks he should be treated better than he perceives he’s being treated. It’s funny. Watch Mad Men, it’s awesome. The latest season is over, but that’s what Netflix is for.

That being said it was cool to see Kurt so excited about winning and all that.

Uhm… There’s this one driver, I think his name is Dale Earnhardt Jr. or something, who doesn’t seem to be able to catch a break this season. I’m at the point, well I’ve been here for some time now, where I want to just say to him “Dale, (yes, in this scenario I know him and we’re BFFs) I think you should just park it and call it a season, this is lame. I know you’re doing your best but you need to tell whatever gods are in charge of luck to kiss your butt.”

He was running really well and then of course something happens and finishes crappy. And his finish has nothing to do with his overall performance. They were kicking butt and then it falls off. Ugh.

And now ladies and gentlemen, a photo bonanza!

my end to the pepsi 500

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, pulls into Victory Lane on Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)And now my final, FINAL, post about the Pepsi 500 weekend at Auto Club Speedway!

Before driver introductions got started I met Heather, who is a friend of David Gilliland and his family, she’s also a Kasey Kahne fan. She reads my blog and we tweeted our locations and met up in the garage. We had a grrreat time hanging around, waiting to see which garage exit Kasey would use to go out to the driver intros stage. Because, really, you can never have enough Kasey Kahne photos.

There was no way I was going out to driver intros; it was a packed madhouse out there. I waited and then went out to pit road for the National Anthem. And I just so happened to stand near Kasey Kahne’s car ’cause it was near the exit I like.

kasey kahne takes atlanta, is still cute

Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge and sixth in points in the standings, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)The two races at Atlanta last weekend or as I like to call them “The Two Races Dale Earnhardt Jr. Had an Actual Chance of Winning,” were good stuff. What would have made them great of course would have been if Dale Jr. had gone and actually won one of them. But it was not to be.

This might be mean but my favorite part of the race came when Kurt Busch spun out, hitting Reed Sorenson in the process and had to take his Miller Lite Dodge to the garage. Luckily they had the camera on him when he got out of his car and pounded its roof. He was highly pissed and it was television magic.

going with labonte isn’t a ‘no-brainer’

It was announced this morning that David Gilliland will drive the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers Racing, filling in for Bill Elliott who is dealing with back problems, this weekend at Atlanta.

This news is of course awesome! Also, there’s more very cool news that David is “piecing together” his driving schedule for the rest of the season by driving at least one race for Robby Gordon and three races for Joe Gibbs Racing in a 4th car.

When I hear that other teams are up for working with David it just serves as further proof that he’s a good driver, someone you should have on your team.

So when I read the following quote from TRG Motorsports owner Kevin Buckler, I was still kinda miffed:

wtf?! gilliland gets jacked again?!

David Gilliland (credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)So, there I was just scanning the headlines on my iGoogle homepage and what do I see?? This: “Bobby Labonte to attempt to qualify in No. 71 car for TRG Motorsports in Atlanta Sprint Cup race”

Uhm, let me see if I can summarize my thoughts at that moment. It was something along the lines of “What the fuck?!” Sorry, I can’t censor myself right now.

What the hell is going on? I mean, really? They’re really letting Bobby Labonte drive the No. 71 at Atlanta this weekend? Why does David Gilliland keep getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop?? For a second I thought/hoped that maybe he was just sick or something, I dunno, something that would prevent you from driving that had nothing to do with other people’s stupidity.

David is a good guy and a good driver. It’s gross how he keeps getting passed over for other people who, with all due respect to Bobby Labonte, haven’t done anything in quite sometime. I think I did a good job of illustrating that back when Bobby and Paul Menard joined Yates Racing earlier this year replacing David and eventually Travis Kvapil. So I don’t feel the need to go through it again.

I’m so irked that this happened again to David at TRG — an organization that I thought understood the potential of the driver in their stable and valued the fans he brought with him. I get it that Bobby has won a Championship and whatnot, but it’s just annoying to me that it’s so hard for some drivers that deserve a ride to be able to get a chance to just grow somewhere.

I have no idea what will happen beyond this year between TRG and David, maybe this is just a blip and next year his ride will truly be his for the entire season.

Ugh. Maybe I am being a bit dramatic but this is getting really old.

kasey’s winsome stare and dale’s magnetism

Kasey Kahne drives his No. 9 Budweiser Dodge to Victory Lane at the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, June 21, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Okay, so finally I’m telling you about my Sunday at last weekend’s Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

Saturday night I came home with a mighty impressive suntan/sunburn and you would think that would lead me to make sure I bring a hat and a put sunscreen on the next day, but that didn’t happen. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think to do either of those things. I’ve been to many races and I’ve never had a sunburn like the one I’m still dealing with to this day. I’ve been wearing a hat for the majority of the week to cover up my peeling forehead. Was that TMI (too much information)?

the one where joey logano takes his toys and goes home

The crowd on hand for the Bennett Lane Winery 200 at Infineon Raceway on Saturday, June 20, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Sometimes I think the only reason I write blog entries is to use the subject lines I come up with. Often I come up with the headline before I think of the actual content. hehe.

Anyway, this is the story of Saturday at Infineon Raceway during the NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend.

So the big thing for me was watching the Camping World Series West race in which David Gilliland, Boris Said and Joey Logano were participants. I’ve never witnessed a Camping World Series race before (East or West) so it was a new thing for me.

I found a choice spot behind the pits next to the start/finish line. For a good portion of the race I was sitting indian-style on the second wall beneath the grandstands. It was the best place to watch the race from because I was directly in front of one of the Sprint Vision screens. I didn’t miss a thing. When the action wasn’t in front of me it was on the screen.

mark martin just wants to k.i.s.s.

Infineon Raceway - Friday, June 19, 2009 (photo credit: The Fast and the Fabulous)Here’s a little known fact about me. I get seriously nervous driving to the racetrack on the first day of a NASCAR race weekend. I mean, I get butterflies and super anxious. I’ve learned that this is a good thing, because if I wasn’t worried about it then it means it’s no big deal and it doesn’t mean anything to me. If I’m nervous about it I’m doing something right.

So that was me on Friday morning driving the super short 30 minutes to Infineon Raceway from my new home in Sonoma County. I moved to the city of Cotati just to be closer to my day job and cut down on my commute expenses but in the process I received the huge bonus of saving my sanity by not having to sit in excruciating traffic leaving the track each day. It’s a beautiful thing.

When I arrived at the track I picked up my credentials and then headed straight to the media center to grab the necessary schedules. I had to park up top next to the helipad and I made the wrong decision to just walk down the hills to the garage instead of waiting for the shuttle. Luckily for me this super nice man offered me a ride in his golf cart. It was great to not have to walk the whole way, but that ride down the hill in a super open vehicle was frightening. The entire time I was mentally and physically bracing myself for the possibility of being catapulted out of it at any moment. Super fun.

how do you solve a problem like talladega?

A multi-car incident involving 14 cars in Turn 4 brought out the first caution on lap 8 of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)Wanna know what my reaction was to the end of the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway?

Jaw. On. Floor.

I couldn’t believe it. Here I was thinking that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was going to win it and then Brad Keselowski comes from outta nowhere — after getting in the way all day — and takes it.

Only seven laps in we got a “Big One” that took out guys that I like, including Bowyer and Gilliland, which was highly disappointing. But I still had Dale and the hope that he had read my post and had taken it to heart. Ya never know. Plus well, Talladega is a really good track for him so I’m sure it had everything to do with that and nothing to do with me, but because he left there with a top-three finish (which is what I asked for) I like to think it was mostly me.

Anyway, I congratulate Brad on his first Sprint Cup win.

Carl Edwards chats with talk show host Ellen Degeneres (Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.)I’m so glad that Carl Edwards is A-OK and that his crash only looked absolutely horrible and didn’t result in anyone’s death. Actually because of that insane fly through the air Carl will be a guest on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” that airs tomorrow (Wednesday, April 29th, check your local listings).

Apparently Ellen thinks that Carl should take it easy from now on and gives him a new ride, a “Cruzin Cooler”, to be exact. It’s a cooler on wheels. Niiice.

I don’t know the answer to the safety questions surrounding Talladega. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t like watching cars run 3 or 4 wide. It’s pretty cool. And yes, seeing the “The Big One” happen is interesting to me. It’s also crazy to see two cars hook-up and push each other past the entire field. It’s so unique and I like it. Whatever NASCAR needs to do to make it so that people don’t get themselves into the situations that Carl and Matt Kenseth found themselves in this past weekend they should do, but hopefully that doesn’t involve taking the banking away.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, congratulates Brad Keselowski (right), driver of the No. 09 Miccosukee Chevrolet, in Victory Lane on his first Sprint Cup Series win at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left), driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet, congratulates Brad Keselowski (right), driver of the No. 09 Miccosukee Chevrolet, in Victory Lane on his first Sprint Cup Series win at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Marcos Ambrose (right), driver of the No. 47 Little Debbie/Kingsford/Clorox Toyota talks with team co-owner Brad Daugherty (left) during Friday's first practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Marcos Ambrose (right), driver of the No. 47 Little Debbie/Kingsford/Clorox Toyota talks with team co-owner Brad Daugherty (left) during Friday’s first practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates his first NASCAR national racing series win Saturday in Victory Lane after capturing the checkered flag at the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates his first NASCAR national racing series win Saturday in Victory Lane after capturing the checkered flag at the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice Chevrolet, waves to the fans following driver introductions and before the start of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice Chevrolet, waves to the fans following driver introductions and before the start of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Mike Skinner and his No. 5 Bad Boy Mowers Toyota team celebrate winning the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. The win was Skinner's first of the season and the first for the team since becoming Randy Moss Motorsports last summer. (Photo Credit: Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

Mike Skinner and his No. 5 Bad Boy Mowers Toyota team celebrate winning the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. The win was Skinner’s first of the season and the first for the team since becoming Randy Moss Motorsports last summer. (Photo Credit: Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet chats with former teammate Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota in the garage during Friday's practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Earlier in the day, Stewart held a news conference about the 2009 Prelude to the Dream. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet chats with former teammate Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota in the garage during Friday’s practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Earlier in the day, Stewart held a news conference about the 2009 Prelude to the Dream. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

gilliland’s fans go grassroots

Gilly's Gang LogoLast week the media was all over the story of TRG Motorsports and their driver David Gilliland. The talk focused on the fact that the single-car team has placed itself in the top-35 in owner’s points, despite being a brand new team and not having sponsorship. It’s great that their story has been picked up. As you know I’m a David Gilliland fan and I was very sad to learn that he wasn’t going to be with Yates Racing anymore.

To see the success that David is having with TRG is awesome and I sincerely hope that it continues because NASCAR needs stories like theirs and that’s the bottom line.

So there’s another wrinkle to the TRG/Gilliland story, one that I don’t think anyone in the mainstream media has really picked up on.

David Gilliland’s fans refer to themselves as Gilly’s Gang and they are a seriously loyal group of individuals. In an attempt to help the No. 71 succeed and to just contribute to the team in a meaningful way they asked TRG Motorsports if there was a way for them to do just that. TRG responded positively and is allowing Gilly’s Gang to have their decal (as seen at the top-left of this post) on the rear deck lid, or the wing mounts on the No. 71 Chevrolet for each race for however much money they can raise. The Gilly’s Gang decal made its debut at Martinsville this past Sunday.

So what this means is that a space that would have gone empty otherwise is now graced with a TRUE symbol of fan support and the team is receiving money to stay in business. What this also means is that you, me and anyone else have the opportunity to sponsor a NASCAR Sprint Cup team. How cool is that? There’s no limit to the amount of money you can contribute, from a little to a lot, anything is great.

To find out all of the pertinent details, go to the DavidGilliland.com Fan Circuit or email me and I’ll forward you the information you’ll need in order to contribute (I don’t want the organizer to get a bunch of spam). Funds are being securely collected via PayPal.

Your 10 or 20 bucks can contribute to keeping a Cinderella story alive. Please tell me in what other professional sport can one fan have that much impact? Is this not the coolest thing ever? :)

Even if you can’t contribute money you can still head over to the Fan Circuit and let them know you believe in what they’re doing.

for loyalty or money?

Travis Kvapil and David GillilandBy virtue of being a woman I tend to lead with my heart. But I’m logical and intelligent and I understand cold hard facts. I know that money is usually the biggest deciding factor in the world of NASCAR race teams and in this economic climate it seems like it’s the only one.

Still, even with those hard truths, I can’t help but feel like there’s more at work with the lack of attention being paid to great drivers like David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil. These are guys that truly deserve more time to prove themselves on the racetrack. Gilliland finished 2nd at Infineon Raceway last year, the best race finish between the two Yates Racing drivers for the season.

So what does his effort get him? Only to be left without a ride and on contract with a company who has given the points he earned to the new guy, Bobby Labonte who hasn’t had a top-5 finish since 2006.

While Kvapil still has a ride for 2009 it doesn’t have a sponsor yet (although Golden Corral has signed on to sponsor him in the Daytona 500) and his points have been moved to Paul Menard. Menard has had only two top-10 finishes in his entire Sprint Cup career and Kvapil has had six.

That just doesn’t sit right with me. Frankly I’m pretty disgusted by it. I understand wanting and needing drivers that can succeed and rack up great finishes. I also understand wanting and needing drivers that are marketable. Both of those criteria are needed to secure sponsorships and I know that Gilliland and Kvapil are completely capable of both of those things.

I had the chance to interview them during the 2008 season and you’re not going to find more genuinely nice, honest and hardworking guys. They’re both well-spoken, good-looking guys with beautiful families. They also have the most important thing: the passion and drive to want to win races. They want to put in the work.

So why did Bobby Labonte and Paul Menard suddenly become the new fresh faces of Yates Racing? Because everybody knows who Bobby Labonte is and Paul Menard comes with a built-in sponsor.

I’m not saying that Yates Racing doesn’t value the talent they have in Travis and David. I don’t think they would have signed them on in the first place if they hadn’t. I just think it’s sad that they couldn’t have held on to what they’d accomplished, built on the team success they had from last year and figured out a way to stay loyal to drivers already in their stable.

It’s really sad when the choice of sponsorship over talent rules the day.

you’re not giving gilliland a ride? what, are you crazy?

David Gilliland at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March 2008 (photo credit: Valli Hilaire/The Fast and the Fabulous)Upon hearing the news that David Gilliland might be the odd man out at Yates Racing I became deeply pissed off.

I know that this is yet another result of the economy but that doesn’t make it suck less, actually it makes it suck worse. Because you know that if everything was ok, he’d definitely have his ride.

I seriously hope that David gets something together in time for the Daytona 500. It was nice to see that he posted a message to his fans on his website to let them know that he’s not giving up. I would expect nothing less. And I’m sure he knows that his fans are not giving up on him either. If I had it my way he’d be in the No. 38 sponsored by Starbucks and that’d be that. :)

In other news…

Elliott Sadler got married yesterday, but he may not be able to go on his honeymoon. Elliott spoke with the media last week and apparently he’s having passport troubles:

I’ve had a pretty interesting week. Y’all haven’t asked me the good question yet. The wedding is Saturday. If I have two minutes, I’ve got to tell you something. We’re planning this honeymoon to go out of the United States, so I need a passport. Well, my passport was out of date, so I sent it in to get reinstated, but somehow my passport has been reported lost or stolen. So they’ve got a red flag up on security on my passport, so here I am three days before the wedding, we’re supposed to leave Sunday and fly out of the country on our honeymoon, and I don’t have a passport and don’t know if I’m going to get one. So actually the questions you guys are giving me today are pretty easy to the questions I think my wife is going to ask me Sunday if I’m not allowed to go on the honeymoon.

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing might be pared down to just two cars this year. Gag me.

– Out of all of the famous people that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has met, were there any that he was surprised to learn were racing fans? On a recent news conference he sort of answered the question, but the quote that stuck out to me was this one regarding Dave Grohl, lead singer for the Foo Fighters. Said Dale, “In 2000 I sent Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters a guitar, and he got the guitar two days before my dad was killed, so he played the guitar after he found out about the whole story, he played it on a couple shows the next several months, and then he called me, left me a couple messages, and I was too scared to call him back. I regret that one.”

– The dude in the music video for the Toby Keith song “God Love Her” looks just like Kevin Harvick, except with long hair. I’m just sayin’. :)


Tony Stewart chats with members of the media during the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fanfest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart chats with members of the media during the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fanfest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

'I kind of relish the underdog role,' said NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski during a news conference Saturday at the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. 'It's inspiring to me. It drives me to prove that we can do it.' (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

“I kind of relish the underdog role,” said NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski during a news conference Saturday at the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. “It’s inspiring to me. It drives me to prove that we can do it.” (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

(Right to left) Carl Edwards signs an autograph for a fan during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Daytona Fan Fest Friday at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

(Right to left) Carl Edwards signs an autograph for a fan during NASCAR Preseason Thunder Daytona Fan Fest Friday at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. talked about everything from barbeque ribs and driver Brad Keselowski to racing in Talladega and what he names his cars in a news conference Saturday at Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. talked about everything from barbeque ribs and driver Brad Keselowski to racing in Talladega and what he names his cars in a news conference Saturday at Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin shares a laugh during a news conference at the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival Presented by SunTrust Saturday at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. (Photo Credit: Steve Green/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Doesn’t Denny look a lot thinner now? I dunno, he looks cute though. He’s growing on me. :)

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin shares a laugh during a news conference at the Sprint Sound and Speed Fan Festival Presented by SunTrust Saturday at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. (Photo Credit: Steve Green/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Jeff Gordon thought a fan just wanted to whisper something in his ear, but what he got was a kiss on the cheek on Saturday at the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Jeff Gordon thought a fan just wanted to whisper something in his ear, but what he got was a kiss on the cheek on Saturday at the Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Defending Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman starts the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers with Lightning mascot Thunderbug saying 'Let's Play Hockey' at the St. Pete Times Forum on January 15, 2009 in Tampa, Fla. (Photo Credit: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Defending Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman starts the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Philadelphia Flyers with Lightning mascot Thunderbug saying ‘Let’s Play Hockey’ at the St. Pete Times Forum on January 15, 2009 in Tampa, Fla. (Photo Credit: Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

a fast and fabulous year in review

This was such a great year for The Fast and the Fabulous. When I look back at the 2008 NASCAR racing season I smile, grin and laugh. I have had so much fun and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want more! But before 2009 arrives I thought it would be fun to remember the highlights of the year that was:

– Pole Position: There was no way I would have had access to all of the opportunities that came my way this year without my association with NASCAR Pole Position magazine. They really started my year off right and I am so thankful that they asked me to be a part of their publication.

– Flying solo: In attending five races in three different states this year I set a new personal record for myself. This fact alone is just super cool. I’m so proud of myself for following my passion and not caring that I did all of this traveling on my own. To be honest traveling alone is really fun, you always get to do the stuff that you want to and you never have to compromise. :)

– The interviews: The interviews I obtained this year were truly monumental for this blog. If there had been only one I would have said the same thing. Having the opportunity to ask all of these great people questions was something I will not forget. It’s not like I’m planning to not do interviews anymore, but you never forget your firsts! So here’s a special thank you to Michelle Gilliland, David Gilliland, Travis Kvapil, Paul Menard, Liz Clarke, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty. Here’s a bit of insider info, I interviewed Shana Mayfield (Jeremy Mayfield’s wife) earlier this year but I shelved the transcription of our conversation, not for any particular reason. She was super nice and very cool. I’m planning on posting the interview eventually. If there’s one thing I learned this year it’s that long conversations equal a super long transcription process.

Clint Bowyer– Clint Bowyer: He is the subject the greatest photo I have ever taken during a race weekend. As you can see in the photo to the right that is Mr. Bowyer look straight at me like I’m an alien. I love this photo because his expression is priceless. It was one of many cool moments I had during my time at the Chicagoland Speedway in July.

– Carl Edwards: It was a big year for Carl; he got engaged, brawled with Kevin Harvick and gunned for not one but two Championship titles. He came up short on the Championship front but it’s no small feat to place second in two series at the same time. My teensy, weensy encounters, at Chicagoland and the Auto Club Speedway, with Mr. Edwards were perfect examples of what a great ambassador for the sport of NASCAR he is and display his insanely likeable persona.

– Dale Earnhardt Jr.: I think my post, “fate finally throws me a bone,” is my favorite one for the year. It summed up a lot of feelings and explains where I’m coming from to anyone who doesn’t know me personally. The experience itself was definitely the highlight of my year. I’m hoping for 2009 to bring more experiences like that one, for sure.

– Celebrity: I saw a lot of stars and a couple so-called celebrities this year. I’m still highly pissed and irritated that Heidi & Spencer from MTV’s The Hills were at the Pepsi 500. Gag me. On the other side of the celeb spectrum, ya know the side where people actually ARE celebrities for having actual talent; I was star struck when I was in the same place as actor, and major hottie, Brendan Fraser. I think they should have him as the Grand Marshal of at least one race per year. It’s funny though, no matter what actor, musician or TV personality showed up at the races I was always much more interested in the NASCAR drivers.

– What I sound like: Thanks to invites from a couple really cool radio shows you got the chance to hear me talk about NASCAR. I had such a great time spending time On Pit Row with Steve and Charlie and hanging out in the Treehouse Fort with Matt and Tuffy.

– Twitter racing: When I watched races on my TV at home I kept my cell phone by my side at all times, not because I was waiting for the phone to ring or needed to check my email, nope I kept it with me so I could post Tweets about the race as it was happening. It became such a fun thing to exchange opinions, impressions and laughs with my fellow NASCAR fans. I invite you to follow me, so you can be in on the conversations next year!

– It’s the life: I think I’ve talked before about moments where you say to yourself “how did I get here?” Well I asked myself that question about 50 times when I toured the ESPN mobile production studios while I was at Chicagoland Speedway. I learned a lot, it takes a lot of work to put a broadcast together and rear springs are way heavier than I’d thought.

mistaken identity in the desert, where it does indeed rain from time to time

(L-R): Chad Knaus, Jimmie Johnson and Chandra Johnson celebrate their victory in the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 with the No. 48 team. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)I love living in Northern California. I’m very proud of my home state, but last night I had to shake my head in disgust. One of our local sports broadcasters referred to David Gilliland as Jason Leffler.

The guy runs through the highlights of the race at Phoenix and hits on the crazy wreck that put David and his car on top of Scott Speed, and then proceeds to say it was Jason — not David — with his tires on Scott’s windshield. It’s sort of an easy mistake to make because Gilliland and Leffler have the same car number (the No. 38), but in different race series. So really it’s a stupid mistake and someone wasn’t paying attention. I wanted to call the TV station and tell them they’re nerds but I figured it wasn’t worth it.

Anyway, even though the outcome wasn’t what I had hoped for I did find the race enjoyable. Who doesn’t love a good red flag every now and again? Was Carl Edwards eating an Arby’s sandwich during the first one?

With the season rolling to an end I really don’t have much to say about Phoenix. What can I say that you don’t already know? It’s highly unlikely that something crazy is going to happen next weekend to take the Championship away from Jimmie Johnson. I guess that’s OK.

I have to give props to the No. 26 and the No. 2 teams and their drivers Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch for putting together great runs on Sunday. I really hoped one of them would be able to give Jimmie a run for his money at the end. It was great to see some different faces up front for a change.

:)


David Reutimann shares a laugh with Phil Harris of The Deadliest Catch. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

It’s Phil, Captain of the Cornelia Marie! I love Deadliest Catch!

David Reutimann shares a laugh with Phil Harris of Deadliest Catch. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch poses with Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb before taking him on a pace car ride around Phoenix International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch poses with Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb before taking him on a pace car ride around Phoenix International Raceway. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, started fifth and finished sixth during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

I’m diggin’ the scruffy look on him. :)

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, started fifth and finished sixth during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #10 McDonald's Dodge, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2008 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #10 McDonald’s Dodge, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2008 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

thanks carl, for keeping it semi-interesting

Carl Edwards salutes the fans before doing his trademark back flip after winning Sunday's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The win was Edwards eighth for the 2008 season. (Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)There’s been a lot of press leading up to today regarding wait times and long lines for voting. Here’s a tip for you, move to the suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area. I went to my polling place, which is right behind my apartment building, and there was no line and the only thing that took a long time was remembering how I wanted to vote on all of the propositions.

Anyway, on to more relevant things like Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.

First, I would like to thank Carl Edwards for restoring a little bit of drama to The Chase. I loved the fact that his team took a gamble on their fuel mileage and came out on top. Even if it didn’t work it still would have been cool. What did they have to lose anyway? All in all it was a great call and it made a pretty much boring race exciting in the end.

Ok, so there was that incident between David Gilliland and Juan Pablo Montoya. So David spun Juan out and ended up wrecking both of their cars. NASCAR parked David and I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen NASCAR take such swift and decisive action with someone before. I mean, I know they’ve done stuff like that before but I guess I was never around to see them park somebody during a race. What David did wasn’t good but I still like him. Hehe. I want that guy to win and I want him to get more attention but not from stuff like that.

His actions impacted the race and The Chase in the grand scheme of things, but I think that’s what NASCAR is all about. You have to be strong enough to weather the race, and your fellow racers, to be a champion. As much as racing is about being prepared, talented and having great equipment, it’s also about fate and luck. Kyle Busch didn’t all of a sudden become a big loser and forget how to drive a racecar once The Chase started, he just ran into some serious bad luck. And that’s what I love about the sport, there’s so much that is left to chance.

In other news…

– If you’re interested in donating directly to the Sam Ard Fund, go to his website for more information on where to send your check. If you haven’t already, read this great article by Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press regarding the impact of Kyle Busch’s $100,000 donation to the Ard family.


Jamie McMurray, driver of the #26 Crown Royal Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jamie McMurray, driver of the #26 Crown Royal Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson (right), driver of the No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet stands with his car chief Ron Malec (left), started seventh and finished 15th in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports).

Jimmie Johnson (right), driver of the No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet stands with his car chief Ron Malec (left), started seventh and finished 15th in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, started from the pole position and finished second in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. Here he is prerace with daughter Ella Sofia. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

Is she not the cutest little girl ever??

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, started from the pole position and finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. Here he is prerace with daughter Ella Sofia. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)

NASCAR Nationwide Series pole-sitter Carl Edwards meets television host Rachael Ray on pit road Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway before the O'Reilly Challenge. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Nationwide Series pole-sitter Carl Edwards meets television host Rachael Ray on pit road Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway before the O’Reilly Challenge. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clint Bowyer (L), driver of the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet, talks with ESPN's Brad Daugherty (R) on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

This photo cracks me up, I love it. :)

Clint Bowyer (L), driver of the #07 Jack Daniel’s Chevrolet, talks with ESPN’s Brad Daugherty (R) on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on October 31, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)